God was very kind to me when I was seventeen-years-old. In high school, something came alive that I can almost pinpoint the class, and it has never died. I was already walking with Jesus and so it wasn’t faith that came alive. It was an awakening of the wonder and the weight of having one life to live and then it’s the outcome for eternity. No second chances. No retakes like shooting a video. No do-overs in a test. One life, and then eternity.
In 1964, we had a high school literary magazine called Leaves of Grass, and I published a mediocre poem in it. And the quality of the point makes no difference to me whatsoever now. But looking back on it, the burden of it is what grips me because it was an evidence of that coming alive of the sense that I’ve got one life, and I can blow it forever or not.
So that poem was published and in it, there’s a verse written from the perspective of being an old man. I’m seventeen-years-old when I wrote it. It’s called “The Lost Years,” and the last verse goes like this:
Long I sought for the earth’s hidden meaning,
Long as a youth was my search in vain.
Now as I approach my last year’s waning
My search, I must begin again.
And everything in me in those days toward the end of high school was saying, “That must never, never, never happen.” Come to the end of life, I’m 65 right now, and say, “I can’t figure it out. I don’t know what it’s about.” Just coasting. Just doing the next thing. Just putzing around, desperately trying to be happy while not thinking, “Don’t let me think about what this is heading for or how heavy and weighty it is to have one life. Don’t let me think about that. I just want to do the next thing and hope I don’t sink in guilt and frustration.” I don’t want to come to the end that way and it’s a sense of the weight and the wonder of having only one life.
What Is the Purpose?
I still think, “What do I have left?” I don’t know what I have left. My Dad was 87 when he passed away. That’s 22 more years. I just know one thing. Don’t waste it. This is just all you’ve got, and then the outcome and that’s all you’ve got. Just one life and then the outcome. So there arose in me this tremendous sense of purposefulness. A lot of people get worked up with the “Where did we come from?” question. And that’s important. But to me it’s only important for the “Where am I going?” question. I want to know purpose. I want to know design. I want to know what am I trying to do, where I came from, if that’s relevant for that, I want to know about it. But mainly I just want to know why.
“You don’t have to know a lot of things. You just have to be mastered by a few great things.”
German has a “Why did this happen?” looking at the past cause and a why, meaning “What’s the purpose? What’s the point of it all?” That’s the one I want to know: Where am I heading and what’s it for? I want to know why the universe, why color, sound, love, hate, evil, good, sports, leisure, work, souls, bodies, government, art, beauty, mosquitoes, laughter, marriage, disease, war, me, you, now, this hour, why? That’s the biggest question for me. I’ve got an hour with you. Why? What should happen here? I go into the pulpit with that question every Sunday. What should happen here? What’s the big point of this message in this moment?
Why are you at this conference? What do you want to happen forever? What ripple effect do you want to come from this moment in your life? So that burden, that wonder, and that weight came on me about age seventeen and it just doesn’t go away. Why do I exist? And God was very kind to me because in the next seven years, four of them at Wheaton college and three of them at Fuller Seminary, till I was 24 or 25 all the big pieces fell into place and they’ve never changed.
And I am so fortunate that some of you need some big pieces put in place now at age 70 and others at age seventeen. It’s never too late. But for me, God was so kind to me that from seventeen to 24, all the big pieces were put in place. And all I’ve been doing since then is trying to keep my focus narrow because I’m not a fast reader and I’m not a comprehensive thinker. I’m an analytical guy who can handle the little piece of Scripture and milk it, but I can’t do much else.
What Makes a Life Really Count
So I just want the big questions and just stay central and want to push on them with all my might and squeeze until the last drop of significance is out of it. And that’s what I would commend to all of you. Let me stress for you what I stressed in the year 2,000 when I spoke to the One Day crowd. I said this to all college students, and you’re mostly not, but the same thing applies.
You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a huge difference. You don’t have to know a lot of things. I don’t know a lot of things. The older I get, the less I know and that’s not just because I’m forgetting, because I’m aware of more and more things that I don’t know and I have to work hard not to care about that lest I tried to know them and then lose my grip on what I know. But you do need to know a few great things that really matter and be willing to live for them with all your might and die for them. The people who make a durable difference, I choose the word durable significantly, intentionally.
So I’m thinking of just your average grandma say or mom or dad or just your average person in this room, you won’t have a famous global difference, but that’s not of the essence. In order to have a durable difference in the world that lasts till eternity, you don’t have to know a lot of things. You have to be mastered by a few things — a few great things. If you want your life to count, if you want the ripple effect to go to eternity, then you want to give yourself to a few great things. You don’t have to have a high IQ. You don’t have to have a high EQ. You don’t have to have good looks or riches.
In fact, riches will almost certainly get in the way. Not necessarily, but almost certainly Jesus said you don’t have to come from a fine family. That too can get in the way. You don’t have to go to a fine school, you don’t have to go to any school, but you have to know a few great, majestic, unchanging, obvious, glorious things and be set on fire by them. That’s what makes a life count.
The Unwasted Life
So I’m going to mention three of those things that came clear to me between seventeen and 24 and then have just been working on the rest of my life, trying to discern their depths when I push down and on their application as widely as I can, pushing it into every avenue of life and culture. So, here are my three discoveries that will define the unwasted life.
1. One Self-Existent, Sovereign God
First, there is an absolutely sovereign, transcendently pure. Those who have known R.C. Sproul’s work will know what I’m talking about there. Self-existing, self-sustaining, incomparably beautiful, all knowing, all wise, all governing, all upholding, all defining infinitely valuable, all-satisfying God. There is a God like that. He exists whose purpose in all creation, in all redemption, in all history, in all culture is to display his glory for the everlasting, ever-increasing enjoyment of his redeemed people. To shorten it down: there is a great holy God who means to be known and treasured as God. Sometimes rhyme helps people remember: he means to be known truly and treasured duly. He means for light to shine and heat to boil in regard to his holy being.
God’s name, Yahweh, is used over 600 times in the Old Testament and it comes from the word “to be,” Exodus 3:14, Moses says to God, “‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “I am has sent me to you.”’” I just spent all my life trying to figure that out. What are the implications that there is a being who identifies himself as “I am”? “Deal with it. I simply am. I had no beginning. I will have no ending. You’re not. I depend on nothing. Everything depends on me. I am defined by nothing. I define everything. I am controlled by nothing. I control everything. I am everything.”
You can spend a lifetime just coming to terms with the name of God, who he is, that he is, and that changes everything. Doesn’t it? I mean it just everything changes. If you live in the face of a God who is simply God, who is simply there, and the universe is like a peanut in his pocket. Only that’s way too big of an analogy for the universe.
So I meet this God. He starts coming alive and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you know if my life is going to have a purpose that is durable and last into eternity and isn’t wasted, he’s got to tell me what it is, period. He’s got to define it. There’s no way I can come up with this in view of just his existence — just teach sheer existence — that I’m going to say, “I think I’m going to do this.” You’re kidding. He’s God. You are absolutely dependent on him for everything and you’re going to decide what to do with your life? Wake up, he’s God.
So I with the help of Dan Fuller at Fuller Seminary and Jonathan Edwards in The End for Which God Created the World, one of the top five books of my life, it became crystal clear to me what the purpose of life is. God designed the universe and created it and controls it, governs it, runs it, will bring it to consummation in order, and I’ll just repeat what I said so that in all of creation, all redemption, all history, all culture, he might display his glory for the everlasting and ever-increasing enjoyment of his people. So getting God’s purpose right for God became foundational for getting my purpose right for me, and that order is all-important — God’s design before my duty.
“God desires to display his glory for the everlasting and ever-increasing enjoyment of his people.”
What’s your design for the universe? I’m a little part of it. That must be your design for me. It has been a life-defining ministry, defining discovery to see how radically God exalting God’s purpose is. I suppose this has emotionally gripped me as much as anything. I don’t know why that is. Just the way I’m wired I suppose that God’s purpose for the universe is radically God exalting just holds me like an iron fist. I can’t leave, I can’t escape it. And I find it exhilarating. And with some sorrow, we say this is a fault line. It’s a fault line that divides families, churches, cultures, and the world.
Either people find God’s exalting purpose for the universe exhilarating or they are angered by it. Very few people are neutral once they hear it spelled out. For me, this has been the central issue theologically and experientially. I was reading an article in First Things this month by Gerald McDermott on evangelicals and he divides us up into Traditionalist and Meliorist. And the Meliorists are post-modern, post-conservative, post-propositional and all kinds of names attached to them. And one of the issues he said, characterizing that movement is a rejection of the old stale enlightenment bifurcation between the mind and the heart and between thinking and feeling, when those things are divided and you become a stale, dead, traditional doctrinaire reform church, you’re going to lose a generation — just no doubt about it. You’re going to lose me.
This issue of God’s God-centered purpose for the universe has been for me both theologically and emotionally central. It has been the key to the life of the mind and the key to the life of the soul. The all-defining revelation and the all-pervading exhilaration. To this day, 40 years later to this day, God’s God-exalting purpose for the universe causes me to soar. I love to think about this. I sit at my desk preparing for talks like this. I love it. Let me say it again. I just love to think about God’s Godness, God being the point of the universe, and then you go to the Bible and you find it everywhere. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:6–7).
Our fathers are billed against the Most High at the Red Sea yet he saved them for his name’s sake that he might make known his power. “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off . . . For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:9, 11).
What do you think Isaiah means for us to feel when he writes like that? Oh, that’s boring, that’s a megalomaniac. I don’t think so. I think he means us to soar after we’ve repented in dust and ashes. “Father, the hour has come, glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). What a conspiracy of the Son and the Father? I’m going to glorify you now so that you will be glorified and I will be glorified in you, so glorify me that I might glorify you. We’ll do it together, Father, we’ll team up and make the universe have it put on Calvary.
He comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be more of that in all who have beliefs. So it’s just become clearer as the years have gone by that God creates, redeems, rules in order to put his glory on display, to exalt it, to make much of it.
Why Put His Glory on Display?
In that first discovery, that long sentence that I gave you, we’ve only dealt with half of it. Why? I mean maybe we shouldn’t ask it, but that’s my question. Why would you do this God? Why would you go on display in a creative universe where the heavens are telling the glory of God? Why would you do that? And his answer is, “Because I want to be glorified by you. I want to be marveled at by you. I want to have the infinite worth of my all-satisfying beauty reflected back to me in you. That’s why. I’m going on display for conscious, rational, in the image of God creatures, so that there would be a fullest possible reflection back to me of all that I am. That’s why I’m going on display in this universe in which I’ve created you in my image.”
He displays his glory for the everlasting, ever-increasing enjoyment of his redeemed people. So this is absolutely massive for me in my 22–24 years. The value of God’s glory is reflected in how I treasure it. To the end the value, the beauty, the worth of God’s glory is appropriately reflected back to him in the degree to which I treasure it, enjoy it, embrace, esteem, delight in and am satisfied with it over everything on the planet. This was absolutely amazing to me.
The implications take a lifetime to work out. God makes known the riches of his glory for our treasuring are valuing our enjoying. When he reveals his glory to us, he doesn’t get any honor if we find it boring. He doesn’t. I don’t care how much we know. In fact, the more we know the worst it reflects upon him if we find it boring. This is an incredibly controversial text, not because it’s vague, but because of what it says, but I’m not going to go to the controversial part. I’m just going to go to the really obvious part. This is Romans 9:22–23: “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power.” So there are two aspects of his glory. There’s lots more: “God desiring to show his wrath and make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.”
Here comes my favorite phrase in all the Bible, “in order to,” you know what that means? You have a purpose. He’s going to tell me something about a purpose. Why wrath, why power, why patients? Oh yes. Tell me, this may help me know how to live an unwasted life. What does he say? God shows his wrath, makes known his power, endures with much patience the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction “in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy.” What? For them to be bored? I don’t think so. Not the meaning. Why? To a joy, to embrace, to exalt him, to praise, to honor, to live for, die for, surely that’s obvious. The riches of his glory made known for the vessels of mercy.
“The value of God’s glory is reflected in how we treasure it.”
Two pieces: (1) make known the riches of his glory (2) for the vessels of mercy to receive with joy, for the vessels of mercy to treasure above all things, for the vessels of mercy to marvel at, for the vessels of mercy to glorify, for the vessels of mercy to reflect the supremely satisfying treasure of their lives. Surely that’s why he does everything from wrath, power, to patience. He does it so that the riches, and they are infinite, will come upon the vessels of mercy for them. He’s prepared us for glory. We will spend an eternity everlasting, ever-increasing enjoyment. You know why I use the phrase “ever-increasing”? Might sound a little funny to you that heaven could admit of degrees. It’s because I’m finite. John Piper has a finite heart and finite head. God is infinite. The riches of his glory that are meant to be known by my mind and enjoyed by my heart are infinite. I’m finite. What does that mean? That means I can’t take it all at once. In fact, I can’t ever exhaust it — ever.
So my understanding is that I will spend an eternity climbing one mountain range of God’s majesty after another and in about three billion years as I pulled up over the edge of the range that I can see, there we’ll stretch off into the millions of miles of distance range after range, after range of glory, yet to be known truly and treasured duly. So he gets the glory in being known truly, and we get the joy in loving him duly. He is glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. That would be enough for a lifetime. And the implication for this 24-year-old-now passionate-for-purpose-in-his-life is that I should join him. I mean, that just seems so obvious to me that there’s nothing to be thought about here. I’m on board. If this is your purpose for the universe, I’m there. It’s all I want to do. I want to so live and so die as to make your glory look supremely valuable. That’s the unwasted life.
Whatever You Do, Treasure God
My Dad would write me over and over again in letters, “Son, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, which means do everything to make him look great.” Which now I understand means so treasure him. To value him. To be satisfied in him above all human possibilities of happiness that you make him look more valuable than anything in your life. That’s what it means. “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’” I love the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a prayer. I mean every one of the sentences is a petition. I used to think it was an acclamation. Hallowed be your name is like you are hallowed. Well, he is, but it’s “let your name hallowed.: Every time I pray, I start right here. “Oh God, may your name be hallowed here.” Hallowed, hallowed, sanctified, revered as holy, revered as other transcendently pure — an R.C. Sproul phrase, a magnificent phrase and found boring, no way.
Revered as infinitely valuable. Revered as supremely satisfying, oh may this happen right here today. Then in Noël and Talitha, Karsten, Ben, Abraham, and Barnabas and their wives and twelve children and now my church and the city and the conferences and ministries like Ligonier and out to the nations. God, cause this valuing of your name, treasuring of your name. Come do this. That’s what we pray in the first sentence of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s all about the majesty glory of his name being embraced and loved and treasured and revered and honored and praised so that the world will see us and say, “Your God must be awesome.” Let him who serves “serve by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
So the implication of discovery number one is plain. If God is — “I am” — and if he created the universe in order to go on display with the riches of his glory, for the vessels of mercy, in order that the infinite value of his riches of glory might be obvious in our lives, then my life is defined for me. You know, don’t you? Watching me is that there’s a difference between purpose and achievement. I mean I must sin or I fail at this. All I’m doing is defining I know what I’m on there as far. God will judge whether I have come even close. My wife would have a different judgment than you probably. You only know the teacher-preacher guy. My kids know another guy, and my wife knows another guy, and my elders know another guy, and I love Paul saying, “Do not judge before the time” (1 Corinthians 4:5). I don’t even judge myself. The Lord will judge on that day when he brings to light the secret things of the heart. That’s a trembling day. Do I know my own heart? I don’t. I know some and I trust my merciful Savior for the rest, which leads now to discovery number two and these next two are shorter.
2. The Redeemer and Apex of Glory
What necessitates discovery number two is that there’s a massive obstacle between God’s purpose in my ability to join him in his purpose is that I would so treasure him that the way I live and die would reflect how supremely valuable he is and the obstacle is I hate God. I want to be God. I don’t want to live for anybody else. We’re going to say, “I want to be God. Self-denial is not in my bones. I don’t want anybody telling me what I can like and not like, do and not do, love and not love. Get out of my face, God.” That’s a pretty big obstacle. And it has another piece to it. Namely, he hates me because of that.
The wrath of God is on me with such a weight that it should crush me in hell a thousand times yesterday. So how will God’s purpose ever be achieved if all human beings are children of wrath, which Paul explicitly says every one of them is in Ephesians 2:3? And here’s the second discovery: Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate not only becomes the means of my seeing and savoring the glory of God, but in the very act of overcoming these obstacles, becomes himself the apex of the glory I couldn’t see. Jesus Christ enters the world as the God-man and he does something that covers and conquers my depravity, absorbs the wrath of God so that I can now see and savor what I was designed to see and savor. And in the very doing of that redeeming work, he becomes the apex of the glory I was designed to see.
“You are adopted all through Jesus Christ to the praise of the glory of grace at the peak.”
Let me give you three passages of Scripture that shed light on what I’m trying to say. Because this was there in nugget form in the early years, but only in recent years has it become clearer. I think I’ve become over the years a more Christocentric person than I was twenty years ago. I love being theocentric in a sense I could argue a long time, maybe R.C and I will talk about this tonight, why it’s appropriate to exalt God in his holiness as the theme of your ministry rather than Christ. And then he will hand over the kingdom to the Father and God will be all in all would be a good place to start. But I think I might not have had the balance where it should. I’m not even sure that now I have the balance where it should be.
Ephesians 1:4–6: “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” So what’s clear there is my predestination, my adoption into God’s family through Jesus Christ is designed to bring about praise for the glory of grace. So now we’ve got a clarification of the apex of glory revelation. It’s grace and the praise is not boredom. This is exaltation. This is exhilaration. You are predestined. You are adopted all through Jesus Christ to the praise of the glory of grace at the peak.
Second Timothy 1:9: He “saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” So now this grace, which is the apex of the glory, we are to praise through the redeeming work of Jesus that was given to us before the world existed. So this is massively clear to me that God’s purpose for creating the universe was to get here, because the grace is given through Jesus Christ before the universe exists.
This is awesome. This is breathtaking. I’m onto the purpose of the universe with way more clarity than before in the first half of this message. Jesus, central, incarnate, redeeming through him grace streaming to me before anything exists.
Revelation 13:8: “And all who dwell on earth will worship it [the beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Before there was a universe, there was a book and it had a name, and here’s the name, “the book of the life of the Lamb who was slain.” You couldn’t put a clearer point on the universe. Jesus Christ slain for sinners. The point of the universe, because the universe went on display to show the riches of God’s glory. The apex of the riches of God’s glory is the riches of the glory of his grace. The apex of the riches of the glory of his grace is Jesus Christ crucified for sinners like me to cover the wrath of God, cover my depravity, conquer my sin, and enable me to see the glory he has become. Amazing.
God’s purpose was to display his glory. The apex of that glory is his grace. The apex of the display of grace is Jesus Christ and the apex, the climactic moment of the revelation of the glory of grace in Christ, was his death for sinners like me. What did he do? He became a curse for me (Galatians 3:13). He bore the condemnation of my sin (Romans 8:13). God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). So my guilt is credited to him and his righteousness is credited to me. I’m free now from the wrath of God and free from the guilt of my sin. And because of all of that, because of all of that cross work, blood work, death, work, the sovereignty of God kicks in behind all the promises of the new covenant for me.
And you know what those are? “I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jeremiah 32:40). Faith is freely given. Repentance is freely given (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:25). Coming to Christ is freely given to me (John 6:44). New birth is freely given to me (John 3:8), which means that my depravity, my deadness, my blindness, my distaste for God and my hatred of him is gone, then born again. Why else would I be exhilarated by God’s God-centeredness not having me at the center? I love God’s God-centeredness and he’ll protect me. God will protect me from turning right doctrine into a means of boasting. Oh how subtle is sin in the Calvinist heart and every other heart.
“The apex of the riches of the glory of God’s grace is Jesus Christ crucified for sinners like me.”
What now am I able to see if he removed all the obstacles of wrath and all the obstacles of guilt and sin and then has been overcoming my depravity by the gift of faith, the gift of repentance and the gift of new birth? What can I now see? 2 Corinthians 4:4: “The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Say it again.
This is the summary of discovery number two: Between God’s purpose to be known and treasured and my treasuring him is a massive obstacle of depravity and wrath. God sends Jesus Christ into the world and in his covering and conquering my depravity and absorbing God’s wrath, he becomes the apex of the glory I am now enabled to see.
3. Happy Suffering in the Service of Love
Finally, let me connect that with my purpose for living. So how does that affect the unwasted life? We will just narrow its focus. Now I live and I die in order to show that God’s glory in Christ crucified for sinners like me is infinitely valuable. The unwasted life is a life lived to show that Jesus is more precious than life. Do you know how Paul said it? “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
That’s the longing of my life to get there, live there, stay there, everything like rubbish compared to knowing Jesus “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:9–11) and spending eternity with my king, my all-satisfying all glorious Jesus.
The life that most clearly displays the all-satisfying worth and glory of God in Christ is a life of joyful suffering in the service of love. The life that displays the infinite value of the glory of God manifest supremely in Christ crucified for sinners, the life that displays that most clearly is a life of happy suffering in the service of love. And I’ll just close by giving you a text and make a comment about it. Matthew 5:11–16:
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
That’s what the university is for. The question is, what’s the light? You’re the salt. You’re the light. And when people taste it, and say, “Whoa, tangy. Whoa, that’s unusual.” What’s unusual in this text? What’s unusual? Not good deeds. Good deeds are not unusual. Plenty of pagans full of good deeds and nobody looks at them and says, “Whoa, God.” Nobody.
What’s unusual? What’s really salty? What’s really bright? What’s extraordinary, what’s impossible in this text? One thing: joy in the face of persecution because of a reward in heaven, the world cannot do it. They’ve got no reward and they’re not going to be happy if anybody’s beating them up with lies, but you can and if you do, if you are so satisfied in this reward. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great.”
If you are so satisfied in your reward that you really can keep doing good for people who hate you happily, you’re off the charts softy. The people will taste and say, “that should be on everything I eat. That’s incredible. That’s awesome.: That just can’t be done unless there’s a great glorious God who satisfies the broken son of man. What’s the reward?
Jesus prayed in John 17:24: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” That’s it. If you want a reward beyond that, there isn’t one. You can’t get greater than the glory of the crucified, slain Lamb of God whose name is over the book from all eternity. So I plead with you. Don’t waste your life. Look to Jesus, find in him and in his suffering for you the apex of the glory of God’s grace. Find that in him. Find it in him. Then embrace him. Be so satisfied in him that you live and die, proving that he is your supreme treasure.